There is never only one approach to create a bilingual lettering. The solution can be completely different depending on the design object and the design intent. We can pair either the existing type genres or create a brand new style to match with each other.
The most important thing to keep in mind throughout the design process is that both scripts should convey the same message and personality rather than limiting to only similar appearance. What is the meaning of this logotype/lettering wants to convey? Can this logotype/lettering express the spirit of the design object (client / brand)? Here are some approaches to create bilingual lettering.
Approach 1: Pairing with the existing type genre
Some certain Kanji typeface genres are commonly associated with serif and sans serif. In most cases, Ming-ti (明體 / JP: Mincho-tai), is considered as a similar genre as serif typefaces, while Hei-ti (黑體 / JP: goshikku-tai) is viewed as sans serif. (3) It is relatively easy to create a bilingual lettering within these two kinds of type genre as long as we make sure their visual parameters are consistent (such as concentration, balance, visual center, contrast, texture, details and so on, see “Consistency” for more.)
In addition to Ming-ti and Hei-ti, serif and sans serif, there are some other calligraphic scripts that can’t be directly associated with any scripts in another language, such as blackletter, italic, Cao-shu (草書) and Li-shu (隸書) since they are traditionally drawn with distinct writing tools with specific rules. However, it is not necessary to always match the appearance. The two language don’t need always to “look” the same, but they do need to have the same personality. How to achieve that? It depends on the design objective.
Take blackletter as an example, if the assignment is to create a Kanji logotype to pair with a blackletter newspaper masthead, the Kanji has to demonstrate a sense of authority. Stylizing Kanji to mimic blackletter may make it lose the seriousness of masthead, while choosing a script that exhibits “classic” and “trustful,” such as high-contrast Ming-ti can be a great solution in this case. The New York Times Chinese masthead designed by Julius Hui is an great example. (4) However, when blackletter is used for different design intent, such as a heavy metal band, a blackletter-stylized Kanji design can enhance the visual impact.
大多數的情況下我們可以拿明體對應歐文的襯線字 ，黑體對應非襯線字 (3)，然後協調好兩者的顏色、收放、平衡、重心、對比、材質感、筆畫細節與整體印象等等特色，大致上就能夠掌握一致性（詳請見「協調」單元）。但是除了一般的襯線字及非襯線字之外還有許多其他傳統書法字體是沒有辦法直接得到對應的，例如歐文歌德體、義大利體、漢字中的草書、隸書等等。
以哥德體 (blackletter) 來舉例，漢字在傳統上並沒有類似哥德體的字體。如果是報頭所使用的哥德體，必須給人一種權威感。我們可以直接挑選一種能夠傳達「古典」的字體來搭配，如明體。許瀚文先生所設計的紐約時報的中文版設計就是一個很好的例子 (4) 。這時候如果使用圖案化的方式來仿製出類似歌德體的漢字，則容易顯得不夠嚴肅。不過，當哥德體被用來展現其他類型的設計對象，例如重金屬樂團，不妨將漢字改製成俱有哥德體特色來加強效果，如下文中的例子。
Approach 2: Coordinating styles
For a brand/design subject with a stronger personality, rather than pairing the existing type, we can create a new style as long as we don’t lose the legibility or the basic skeleton. Here are a few different approaches to coordinate the styles.
→ A. Using the feature as decorative elements
In this approach, we can extract the traits (such as stroke end-shape, serif style etc.) as decorative element and bring it onto the other script without making any changes on weight-distribution and structure ⓕ.
Take blackletter as an example again to compare with approach 1. Now we already have Ming-ti as a base-structure and then try to bring features from blackletter into Ming-ti.
If we try to carry the curve from blackletter onto Ming-ti, it will make Ming-ti look very unnatural since it is traditionally carved on wood. The strokes in Ming-ti are barely curved and mostly straight. However, we can take the unique diamond shape from blackletter as a decorative element to replace the Ming-ti’s triangle shape (5) and make Ming-ti look more blackletter-like.
→ B. Imagine drawing with the same tools
In addition to treating the traits as decorative elements, another way to stylize the type is to imagine using the same tools to create both scripts. This approach would be a great solution for calligraphic or brush-drawn type and will make both scripts more similar in appearance. However, this kind of non-traditional drawing may deviate from the traditional weight distribution and make the type looks informal or over-stylized.
There are some aspect to consider while creating bilingual lettering with this approach: The tool is made of what kind of material? If it is a brush, how hard is the brush, what angle the pen is held, how thick is the ink, how rough is the paper? and also, what kind of personality the writer/painter has? With these concern in mind, imaging using the same tools, same gestures, same speed, same movement etc. to draw the two scripts, rather than copying the stroke on to the other type abruptly because there is no way to have the exact same drawing due to the structural difference ⓖ.
→ C. Treat it as a graphic
If the objective is to create a more expressive lettering, other than working with existing type category, we can also treat the type as a graphic. With such illustrative approach, the biggest consideration is legibility. It is crucial to make sure all the letters distinguish from each other. As for Kanji, the recognizability of the form is more important than the clarity of each individual strokes since native users do not identify characters based on stroke structure, but the contour of both radicals (units) and the complete form ⓗ．
→ A. 維持原先的粗細骨架，帶入特色
再以歌德體配合明體為例，若嘗試將哥德體的轉筆帶入明體的木刻中 (5)，會讓明體顯得不自然。但如果將歌德體起筆與終筆時形成的菱形帶入明體的收筆處作為裝飾，使明體的設計俱有哥德體的特徵，也可以作為一種解決方法 ⓕ。
→ B. 想像使用一樣的工具
除了裝飾的做法之外，也可以想像「使用一樣的工具」來表現較俱有書法或是筆刷特色的文字設計，這樣一來兩者會有更類似的筆畫與外觀。但要注意的是，這樣非傳統的做法，如果完全背離了傳統粗細分佈 (weight distribution) ，可能會使得文字顯得不正式。使用何種做法應該針對不同設計對象有不同判斷。
在這種做法中，應該考慮這個工具的材質是什麼？假若是筆刷，它有著什麼硬度的筆毛、毛的角度、顏料的濃稠度、紙張的阻力等等。另外書寫的人有著什麼樣的性格？把握這樣的概念，在心裡假設用一樣的工具及一樣的手勢 、運筆的速度、流動感、書寫者的個性等等來繪製兩種文字。而不是硬生生的把其中一種文字的筆畫造型拷貝到另一文字上。因為兩種文字的結構不同，實際上繪製出的筆畫角度及彎度都不可能會一模一樣 ⓖ。
→ C. 圖案化
最後一種搭配方法則是完全將兩種文字視為圖案來做，通常這類設計更俱有插畫特質。對於圖案化的文字，最大的考量是文字的可識別性 (legibility)。特別在漢字中，母語使用者辨認文字的方法不是依據筆畫順序，而是依據文字整體的外輪廓及部首的結構配置 ⓗ。